Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Emergency Food and Water Supplies

During a hurricane, tornado, flood, fire or other emergency, you may not be able to get food or water for several days. Take time now to stock up on bottled water and nonperishable food (food that won't spoil) so you'll be prepared in case something happens.

Tips for Eating and Drinking Safely


  • Keep emergency supplies cool, high and dry until needed.
  • Use and replace emergency supplies annually.
  • Discard all damaged food and any food moistened by flood waters.
  • Use a thermometer to ensure refrigerators and freezers are working properly.
  • Discard severely rusted cans of food.
  • Remember to drink an adequate amount of potable water.


  • Drink water from an unknown source or of unknown quality and safety.
  • Drink tap water during or after a disaster until after water system has been cleared.
  • Eat unprotected perishable food stored at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Put food in a non-food container or one used for anything else (e.g., chemicals).
  • Eat frozen foods that have warmed to more than 40 degrees F.
  • Eat food from a can that is swollen or from a jar with a swollen lid.
  • Eat food from a severely dented can.
  • Try to save food in jars or flexible packages if affected by flood water.

How to Purify Your Drinking Water

  • Boil for 1 minute at a rolling boil and cool, or
  • Add 15 drops of household bleach per gallon of water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes before using.

How to Make a Sanitizing Solution

Add 1 tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes before using.

When to Use Sanitizing Solution
  • Sanitize all fresh fruit and vegetables with the sanitizing solution before eating.
  • Clean and sanitize any possibly contaminated but intact food containers with soap, water and sanitizing solution before opening.
  • Clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces and utensils.